Málaga is steeped in history, so clearly seen through its beautiful architecture and the ancient Moorish ruins that are peppered around the city. Then there are the plates of mouth-watering tapas flanked by sweet local wine adorning local tables. And of course, the glorious sun ensures the city is toasty warm all year-round. There are just so many things to do in Málaga, truly a city for those looking for busy days and exciting nights.
My top 5 things to do in Málaga – the city and the region
Visit some of the world’s most beautiful works of art in the Picasso Museum
Pablo Ruiz Picasso was born in Málaga in 1881 and he has had a profound effect on the city’s culture and international art scene. Museo Picasso Málaga opened in 2003 after 50 years in the making. The museum is home to over 200 works of art by the legendary artist, including sculptures, numerous sketches and a painting of Picasso’s sister, Lola, painted when the artist was only 13 years old. Many of these pieces have never been seen outside the museum, as they are from Picasso’s own personal collection, which he kept for himself or gave to family and friends.
You can also visit Picasso’s Birthplace Museum (Fundación Picasso, Museo Casa Natal) in Plaza de La Merced, yes, this is the building in which the great artist was born. There, you will find additional works, an extensive library and personal belongings of the artist and his family.
For those looking to get a feel for the man who has so left such a major mark on this city, these museums are a must-visit.
Relax on one of Málaga’s many beaches
With over 300 days of sunshine each year and a mild winter climate, you make the most of the sunny weather by hitting the beach. There are numerous beach clubs along the Golden Mile if you want to party throughout the day. But for those who want to relax, there are 15 beaches to choose from, so you’ll be spoilt for choice as to which stretch of sand you rest upon.
Playa de la Malagueta is one of Málaga’s main beaches and is the perfect place to enjoy the sun, with plenty of sun loungers and beach umbrellas available. For those looking for respite from the rays, the beach is fringed by grassy areas shaded by towering palms, perfect for picnics. There are children’s play areas if they need a break from paddling in the sea, and plenty of bars, restaurants and kiosks for grabbing a refreshing drink or a snack.
Playa Nagüeles is one of the most exclusive beaches in Marbella thanks to its prominent location next to the Golden Mile. It is exceptionally clean and has lifeguards, so the children can safely splash around in the calm waters. There is also the opportunity to enjoy water sports such as windsurfing and water-skiing.
Lose yourself in the Moorish architecture
Málaga’s cathedral was built between 1528 and 1782 and is one of the most enchanting sights in the city. The original design included two towers, however, a lack of funds resulted in the completion of just one, affectionately giving the cathedral the nickname La Manquita (one-armed woman).
You can head up to Castillo de Gibralfaro for some of the most spectacular vistas of the port and city. Although the interiors of the castle are in ruins, the walkways make for an impressive stroll.
La Alcazaba is another must-see. The Alcazaba is the best-preserved Moorish fortress-palace in Spain and is a very impressive sight. It has been extensively restored over the years, having been built in the 11th-century on the ruins of an older Phoenician fortress. The decorative arches, tiles and pretty courtyard are surrounded by lush greenery and fragrant orange trees. A walk around the Alcazaba provides so much more than just a visit to the palace.
Food glorious food
For me, there is little that is more appetising than a table groaning under the weight of tapas and jugs of sangria?
Do head to one of the many tapas restaurants to try dishes of gambas al ajillo (prawns), patatas bravas (potato wedges) and Albóndigas (meatballs) and much more. Then pair with fruity sangria or a glass or two of the local sweet wine, for a perfect accompaniment.
Or for something a little different, enjoy your meal with a traditional Flamenco show for a truly authentic Spanish experience. There are so many restaurants that put on great shows that all the family can enjoy. The best time to see Flamenco dancing is during one of the many Spanish fiestas held throughout the year. You will see locals and professionals enjoying the dancing and you can even take part yourself.
Live like a celebrity in Marbella and Puerto Banús
Less than one hour away from the cosmopolitan city of Málaga, is Marbella. It is well-known as a place where the rich and famous play, party and shop ‘til they drop. That is, of course, true, but there is a lot more to this pretty resort town than meets the eye. The famous ‘Golden Mile’ of bars, restaurants, clubs and shops is sandwiched between the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the spectacular Sierra Blanca Mountains and is certainly an attraction for visitors.
For those looking for a more authentic Spanish experience, lose yourself in Marbella’s Old Town. Wander around the cobbled streets, meander through the traditional squares and churches and browse around one-off boutiques and pick up a souvenir or two – a delightful way to spend a morning.
There are plenty of places to stop off for a bite to eat and a refreshing drink too. For some delicious tapas, try Bar El Estrecho, which is well-known as one of the best in Marbella.
Fancy yourself as a celebrity? Then Puerto Banus is the place to be seen. The marina town is packed full of designer shops, with huge luxurious yachts bobbing in the waters, while some of the world’s most expensive cars – Lamborghinis, Jaguars, Ferraris and Bentleys – are parked up, as if in an outdoor museum. The rich and famous might be showing off a little here, but if your budget won’t stretch to Gucci or Prada, then you’ll still find some of the big high street stores to spend your money in.
When the sun goes down, it’s time to dance and the nightlife here is excellent. After cocktails in one of the many marina-front bars, maybe head to Tibu or Aqwa Mist clubs to continue the party on the dance floor.
Where to stay in Malaga
Well, if you are looking for where to stay in Malaga the Crown Resorts Málaga has four resorts to choose from, all within 3km of each other. There is Club Calahonda, Club Delta Mar, Club La Riviera and Club Marbella & Regency Palms – all giving plenty of choices when it comes to your accommodation. No matter which resort you decide to make your base for your Spanish adventure, guests can use the facilities at any of the other three resorts, there’s even a handy shuttle bus.
Crown Resorts at Club Calahonda is located between Marbella and Fuengirola so guests are sandwiched between two pretty towns. Club Calahonda offers everything you need for an enjoyable family holiday, including a mini-club and playground for the children. There are also sports courts, a games room, two swimming pools and a children’s pool, fitness centre, sauna and steam room, together with Wi-Fi access. There is also a poolside bar and restaurant for snacks, which are open during high season.
At Crown Resorts at Club Delta Mar has a lovely heated pool and a children’s pool for the little ones. There is a poolside snack bar – open during the high season – which is great for enjoying a refreshing drink or an al fresco lunch. There’s also a wide range of leisure facilities for guests to enjoy. The resort has pretty gardens, mini-golf, a fitness room, Wi-Fi and a mini-club for the younger guests.
A holiday at Crown Resorts at Club la Riviera is relaxation at its best. Just a few minutes from the beach, you can spend time enjoying a day on the resort before heading for a stroll on the sand as the sunsets. The resort has a heated swimming pool and separate children’s pool, with beautiful gardens that make the views from balconies rather impressive. The resort has a pool bar and Wi-Fi. The pool bar is open during high season.
Crown Resorts at Club Marbella is a great family-friendly resort with plenty to do. There are three pools – an outdoor heated pool, indoor pool, whirlpool and a separate children’s pool. There are lots of sporting activities, including a fitness room, pool room and French bowls. Children are catered for with a mini-club and playground, and there is also a picnic area for guests who want to eat outside rather than in their well-equipped rooms or in the on-site bar and restaurant.
Crown Resorts Málaga is affiliated with the RCI Holiday Exchange programme.
Visit the Crown Resorts Malaga website for more information and to book a stay.
Map of Malaga
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